An Academic Life PDF/EPUB ´ An Academic ePUB ½

An Academic Life [Reading] ➶ An Academic Life ➽ Hanna Holborn Gray – A compelling memoir by the first woman president of a major American universityHanna Holborn Gray has lived her entire life in the world of higher education The daughter of academics she fled Hitler's A compelling memoir by the first woman president of a major American universityHanna Holborn Gray has lived An Academic ePUB ½ her entire life in the world of higher education The daughter of academics she fled Hitler's Germany with her parents in the s emigrating to New Haven where her father was a professor at Yale University She has studied and taught at some of the world's most prestigious universities She was the first woman to serve as provost of Yale In she became the first woman president of a major research university when she was appointed to lead the University of Chicago a position she held for fifteen years In Gray was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom the nation's highest civilian honor in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to education An Academic Life is a candid self portrait by one of academia's most respected trailblazers Gray describes what it was like to grow up as a child of refugee parents and reflects on the changing status of women in the academic world She discusses the migration of intellectuals from Nazi held Europe and the transformative role these exiles played in American higher education and how the emigre experience in America transformed their own lives and work She sheds light on the character of university communities how they are structured and administered and the balance they seek between tradition and innovation teaching and research and undergraduate and professional learning An Academic Life speaks to the fundamental issues of purpose academic freedom and governance that arise time and again in higher education and that pose sharp challenges to the independence and scholarly integrity of each new generation.

8 thoughts on “An Academic Life

  1. Lobstergirl Lobstergirl says:

    This cover is what happens when the idea of sepia gets taken too farA few years ago I saw the author Hanna Holborn Gray outside the grocery store This was surprising because she had acuired such a mythological status for me that I didn't realize she would need groceries nor was I aware she was still in the er land of the living Yet she looked robust if a bit tweedy surrounded by what seemed to be a small entourage as if she were heading to a seminar rather than the frozen foods aisleIt turns out that this professor and scholar former provost of Yale University and President of the University of Chicago not only eats but cooks When she was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University in the early 1970s she made the decision to eliminate the Home Economics department which then held a fire sale at which I to my shame bought pots and pans and napkins at bargain prices Her dry humor is sprinkled throughout the book She was invited to brief President Reagan on matters relating to higher education at his home in Pacific Palisades Mr Reagangreeted us with the sociable warmth of a man who had nothing much to do and was delighted to have neighbors drop in How are you Mrs Nixon? he asked me Mr Reagan apparently noticed his error and went on to show that he did know who I was by telling us that when he was very young his family had lived for a while on the South Side of ChicagoShortly after we had settled into the living room his chief of staff and others arrived breathless and alarmed that their boss might already have said something Mr Reagan was unperturbed and gracious to the nth degree listening patiently to what we had to say He seemed in no hurry for us to leave The next day he was in Texas uestioning the theory of evolutionThe sense you get of Gray is a woman who is humane and thick skinned unperturbed herself by the weightiness of the responsibilities her gender thrust on her first woman provost of Yale first female president of a major research university the University of Chicago Her gender doesn't seem to matter at all to her When William H McNeill asks her not to appoint a woman to a certain faculty position because they make such difficult colleagues she laughs and he uickly adds Oh I never think of you as a woman She seems eminently suited to these executive level positions able to assess human capital manage personalities and manufacture consensus while expanding campuses fundraising and adjusting departments and curricula to meet the challenges of the future Ugh That was horrible Sorry Substantial chunks of the memoir are written in a bland corporate syntax and I'm being sucked back into itTyposp 55 imbed for embedphoto caption 28 Nancy Kessenbaum for Nancy Kassebaump 301n8 Louise Wilhemine Holborn for Louise Wilhelmine Holborn

  2. Madeline Madeline says:

    Great little memoir about a life of teaching and administration which Holborn Gray refers to several times as pastoral work From her parents’ academic struggles in 1930s Germany to the American culture wars in the 80s and 90s the book is a loving testament to the power and fragility of intellectual freedom

  3. Lisa Lisa says:

    I read this because Hanna Grey was one of my professors in grad school and I was interested in her take on higher education I most appreciated the first three chapters of her book which look at the differences in higher ed between Europe and the US in the early part of 20th century She tells the story of the emigrants from the continent who shaped US higher ed through her parents’ story It is indeed fascinating The Ivy League schools don’t end up looking good Her own experience of being the first woman in many leadership positions in fancy research schools has its merits—mostly I can see how much thick skin she had and how she may have been seen as conservative by many of those she led It’s an elite story full of inside baseball but I enjoyed getting some history of the U of C through her eyes and experience

  4. Tom Tom says:

    Hannah Gray was president at University of Chicago before my time there but she was a commencement weekend speaker at Bowdoin two years ago and that was what brought this book to my attention The first two thirds of the book focuses on her upbringing and career in academia prior to her presidency while the latter third is about that As a girl she and her family were part of families of German intellectuals some Jewish some not leaving the Nazi regime behind This book was a really interesting snapshot of that time and I learned a lot about how this transition happened and the immense impacts it had on higher education abroad but especially in the US Since she grew up in a family of academics it was interesting to see how academia changed over the course of her life from the 1930s onward In the latter part of the book I really enjoyed hearing her perspective on the University of Chicago in a time of rapid transition She really bridges a transition between the College of Robert Maynard Hutchins and the modern UChicago and saw the strengths and weaknesses of bothGray the first woman to hold a full presidency for a major university in the United States Throughout this book it was clear that she wanted to be the best researcher teacher and administrator that she could but she would not view her sex as something that could hold her back or get her places she might not otherwise go Shey doesn't shy away from the sexism that she faced at various points but she also doesn't dwell on it There is a very German pragmatism to this book and to her life and career that I appreciated considerably

  5. Crysta Crysta says:

    Gray tells some interesting anecdotes and writes from a uniue perspective as the child of academic refugees She strives to present the issues of academia to a broader audience unraveling some of the mysteries of how the ivory tower functions At times her memoir is bogged down by details about specific professors and administrators that a non academic can't appreciate I really enjoyed the passages on the role of universities in society and her musings on how important it is to protect academic freedom I wish they comprised of the book

  6. Kris Sondermann Kris Sondermann says:

    This book was a chore to read Very dry Hanna Holborn Gray has undoubtably had a remarkable life and the book was very well written but not very exciting to read about

  7. Louise Silk Louise Silk says:

    beautifully written accomplished academic life An amazing woman

  8. Christine Christine says:

    I agree with the reviewer who said that this was a chore to read The author jumps around from topics to time periods without a clear path

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